Though largely unchanged for 2012, the Infiniti EX35 continues to wow with its pert proportions and punchy performance. It's a bit small on space, but its unique looks make up for that--somewhat.
Not very crossover-looking at all, the 2012 EX35 carries forward the model's steeply raked windshield, arched roofline, and mildly bulging fenders. The overall effect, while still slightly conservative, is stylish and sport in a segment that's often somewhat stodgy. Inside, the styling is austere, but well-finished, with handy controls and elegant details.
Though it's not the stoutest implementation of the Nissan/Infiniti V-6 engine, the 3.5-liter unit mates well with the versatile seven-speed automatic, delivering smooth and strong acceleration. Unlike the 3.7-liter V-6 found in some Infiniti models, the 3.5-liter is smooth and refined, with a throaty, mellow exhaust note. Handling is not quite sedan-crisp, but very good for a crossover. Its standard rear-drive layout gives it a balanced handling nature, while the optional all-wheel drive lends the EX35 some all-weather capabilities.
The one main drawback to the EX35's sleek packaging is the impact it has on interior space--particularly in the rear seat and cargo area. Head and leg room are compromised for all but children in the back. The low roof and sloping rear liftgate glass impinge on cargo space, made all the more inconvenient by a relatively high cargo floor. Front-seat comfort and space is very good, however, making the EX35 well-suited to buyers with only occasional need of the backseat and perhaps a larger second vehicle for serious cargo-moving duties.
Safety isn't one of the EX35's shortcomings, however, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) giving it a Top Safety Pick rating for 2012. Available safety equipment includes lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, blind-spot warning, and a 360-degree Around-View Monitoring camera system. The camera system in particular is useful for seeing obstacles behind the EX35, since rearward visibility is somewhat limited.
For the full details on the 2012 Infiniti EX35, visit The Car Connection